Question: do you really need a closer when you’re playing out the last three weeks of a lost season? Eh, probably so. If not, who would we yell at when games go south? If not, what would the guys who are somehow — against all odds — still paying close attention to their fantasy rosters do to pick up a cheap save here or there?
So yeah, you still probably need a closer. But for the Mets it may not be Bobby Parnell anymore. He blew a two-run lead in the ninth against the Marlins last night. The Mets still won, but Terry Collins is not content to stand pat at closer any longer:
Asked if it might be beneficial for Parnell to get some non-save opportunities in order to right himself with the game not on the line, Collins intimated that was the case.
“Well, we’re going to talk to Bobby tomorrow,” Collins said. “I mean, there’s a couple things (pitching coach) Dan (Warthen) had talked about with him, a couple of little pitch-location stuff that he’s just got to be able to make. He’s got to make some pitches.
Potential closers for the rest of the way: Josh Stinson, Manny Acosta, Pedro Beato and Jason Isringhausen. Gentlemen, scan your waiver wires.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.